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“A slice of heaven”
Review of Tokara Restaurant

Tokara Restaurant
Ranked #8 of 274 Restaurants in Stellenbosch
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$12 - US$22
Cuisines: French, Contemporary, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: View, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Description: Leading contemporary South African restaurant located atop of the picturesque Helshoogte Pass outside Stellenbosch, included on the 2014 Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice SA Fine Dining Top 10 list.
Reviewed 13 May 2014

We booked a meal here well in advance for the last night of our honeymoon, saying that we wanted to watch the sun go down on the deck. We arrived about 20mins early because our driver allowed for extra travel time (and before the start of service) so we spoke to a member of staff saying that we just wanted to sit quietly on the deck, did not need any attention and would wait for everything to be ready. The young woman said she'd ask the manager, who came to see us and was very flustered and most unwelcoming. In spite of us being apologetic and and explaining we didn't even need a glass of water, she declined our request to sit on the deck and so we went for a walk through the gardens up to the olive groves and towards the deli.

This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we got to see the sculptures, plants and views at the most beautiful time of day. Unfortunately because we were in our indoor shoes and not outdoor shoes (and I on a badly sprained ankle) we found the gravel paths a bit tricky.

Once we returned to the restaurant we were shown to our table and had the good fortune to be served by a delightful young man who is a student in town. He was very engaging and knowledgeable about both the food and wine, his service was superb. Unfortunately, a table of 4-5 people next to us were very loud and we found their increasingly loud and inappropriate conversation annoying. One man at the table said very clearly to the server that other guests would have to move if they didn't like the noise as he and his friends were neither going to quieten down nor tone down the nature of their banter. I know that difficult customers are a nightmare to deal with, but I think a quiet word or three from a senior member of staff might have changed the dynamic. As it was, the young server was left embarrassed and disempowered by this table of loud-mouthed, ignorant people.

As a result, we gulped our desserts and moved back to the deck and enjoyed the rest of our wine in the quiet and darkness, just perfect for the end of our honeymoon.

We thought the food was superb, faultless even, but felt that the lack of authoritative and proactive management let Tokara down. Had we been able to sit quietly in a corner on the deck for 20 minutes we might have been more relaxed about the loutish behaviour from the table next to us. Had those people been more positively dealt with, I'd have been inclined to write a very positive account of that scenario.

If you're intending to visit Tokara, I'd highly recommend the food and wine, but if you want to watch the sun go down in autumn or spring, you might be better off booking a table for 7pm and seeing the sunset from a walk up the hill rather than hoping for views from the deck. It's not possible to eat on the deck anyway.

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Thank emjay1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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674 - 678 of 1,207 reviews

Reviewed 11 May 2014

The venue at Tokara is really stunning! Their wine is excellent and I always love their food. The food can be a bit unusual but always delicious and a real taste experience. Service is usually excellent; on the whole a fantastic restaurant.

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Thank JessFaye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

Stunning restaurant with lovely bistro-style cuisine. Lovely lawn with awesome jungle gym and play area for kids. The endless views and collection of sculptures in the garden are extraordinary. No visit to Stellenbosch is complete without a trip to this wine estate.

Thank Yolande P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2014

This is the first time I have been here and my niece who is at Stellenbosch University has been a few times.

I understand why, the food was amazing, the staff were friendly and really love what they do. the setting is superb and this is somewhere I would love to spend more time going through the menu.

Thank you for a great experience.

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Thank Tina N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

We enjoyed the menu. Food was served hot and tasted wonderful. Good value for money within a beautiful setting. We found the female waitress to be unrefined and very rough - spilled our wine and water and seemed very rushed. The restaurant decor and furniture is sadly out dated. I do believe one can enjoy better Estate Restaurants...

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Thank Traveldelightbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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